If you’re interested in getting started on an online store and want to build yourself up in the world of e-commerce starting from scratch may feel daunting. You probably have a lot of questions like:

  • How much does it cost?
  • What are the best e-commerce solutions?
  • Why do I need to have a digital marketing strategy?
  • What do I need to start a small business?

Below is a step-by-step guide to take to ensure you are successful at starting it. And, If you are in British Colombia, you may be eligible to access up to a $7,500 grant aimed at launching online store fronts with Stronger BC Launch Online Grant Program.

1- Choose a Profitable Niche

When you want to start an e-commerce website in Canada, you have to know what kind of audience you want to target. You’ll need to figure out what differentiates your services or products from others in your local market.

For creating, selling, and marketing your products or services, you’ll need to really get to know and understand your audience. So if you set out targeting a specific community that you’re already a part of, this process will be easier. Digital marketing research is one of the great ways to help you in this step.

2- Find eCommerce Products to Sell

Regardless of which industry you are in, there are two types of goods you can sell:

  • Niche products: They are goods or services that serve a specific customer base and product category.
  • Commoditized products: They are high demand, popular and essential goods or services that can be physical or digital products.

Based on what you choose, the method of marketing is different. Also, if you are the business owner who has your products, you need to do competitor and market analytics to see which types of your products have more opportunities to sell online.

3- Pick Your Marketing Strategy

When it comes to starting an online store, the first thing is to get your first sale. If you get the marketing right, you’ll watch the sales start to roll in. Otherwise, you will have a very time-consuming hobby on your hand and waste a lot of money.

If you are a business owner, you are too busy with your stuff. Maybe it’s a good idea to ask a local agency to do digital marketing for you professionally. In this case, you save a lot of time and make sure all things go well.

Glacier Media Digital is the leading agency that works with many businesses in Vancouver, British Columbia since 2007. Glacier Media also owns several community papers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba. Learn more about our digital marketing services.

Apply for Up to $7,500 BC Government Grant

If you have a business in British Columbia, The StrongerBC Launch Online Grant Program opened for application on February 3rd.  Businesses can apply for up to $7,500 to create and enhance their e-commerce operations, working in partnership with a B.C.-based business, such as Glacier Media Digital. 

The initiative is supported by $12 million in provincial funding focused on local business and driving economic growth across British Columbia.

Hurry! These funds are available until the grant money is claimed. Claims are processed in the order they’re received. Learn More


5- Name Your Store and Get a Domain

Once you know who your target audience is, what you’re selling, and how you’re selling it, it’s time to work on creating an easy and memorable name for your business.

A good domain name is a key to launching a successful online store. It builds trust with customers and helps establish your brand. 

Let’s say you’re Best Buy (we can all dream). Below is Best Buy’s URL, with the domain name in bold: https://www.bestbuy.ca/

This is the primary domain. It’s what customers see in the address bar and Search Engines like Google. Think of your domain name like the sign that hangs above a real-life high street store. If your audience is in Canada, it’s a good idea to get “.com” and/or “.ca”.

6- Pick an Online Store Platform

Now it’s time to choose a reliable e-commerce platform that lets you build your very own online store without any coding skills, a bottomless budget, or a degree in web design. They may include CRM, inventory management, mobile commerce, web design, and warehouse fulfillment.

Choosing one can get pretty confusing quickly, especially when they all claim to be the best. There are several helpful free and paid e-commerce platforms that can help you grow your business such as WooCommerce and Shopify. If you establish your online presence and need any assistant, our web design team is ready to help you.

7- Optimize Your Site Design for Sales

With a well-structured and optimized website, you can successfully increase website traffic, attract more shoppers, and generate more sales. There are a few things you’ll want to check off when optimizing your online store for sales:

  • Keep your main page simple, easy to follow for your audience
  • Add videos and photos to your key conversion pages
  • Show off customer testimonials, associations, and case studies
  • Create ways to capture leads like email addresses
  • Publish useful content on your blog
  • Offer a bullet-proof money-back guarantee
  • Clearly explain your value proposition on your landing pages
  • Optimize for search engines like Google to get organic traffic

8- Start Your Marketing Campaigns

Now it’s time to promote your website with digital marketing campaigns that are one of the great ways to reach customers at scale. But producing a campaign is costly and time-consuming, and there’s no guarantee that it will net you a positive return on investment.

It’s important how to reach, connect with and convert potential customers can be overwhelming. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to look at the leading competitors that have been successful and analyze what they’re doing.

You can talk with one of our digital strategists to learn about the best digital marketing solutions for you. Contact us to get started!